They will likely never share the same space again, though they may share a state of mind --anticipation -- until U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III deciphers the last six weeks' testimony and issues an opinion.
After closing arguments Friday, Jones said he wants to settle the case before the end of the year, or by early January at the latest.
The judge's findings could range from a simple decision about the Dover Area School Board to an order that would send a message about intelligent design to school boards across the United States.
Jones is charged with determining whether school board members had religious motives in passing a policy requiring the mention of intelligent design in ninth-grade biology classes.
But attorneys representing parents in the case have pushed for a broader ruling that would outlaw the teaching of intelligent design; they maintain it is a religious movement and thus unconstitutional for public school science classes.
Neither side will speculate: Attorneys on both sides of the case said they wouldn't speculate about whether the judge will issue an opinion that includes findings about the nature of intelligent design.
Outside the courthouse Friday, Pepper Hamilton law firm attorney Eric Rothschild, representing the parents who sued the school district and board, said he doesn't know what the judge will do, and the decision is "in his discretion."
"We've certainly presented the evidence in this case that will allow him to make decisions on a number of different fronts, and to be fair, the defendants did too," he said. "They put on the case for intelligent design through leading intelligent design experts like Michael Behe and Scott Minnich. And we put on a case that directly addressed intelligent design arguments. So he certainly has the evidence to decide both on the community behavior but also intelligent design at large."
Thomas More Law Center attorney Robert Muise, representing the school district, said the judge might not want to become entangled in deciphering science.
"History has shown that when courts try to create demarcation for what is and what is not science, that has proven to be disastrous. ..." he said.
A broader ruling could be "a place the courts may not want to tread," Muise said while leaving the courthouse Friday.
Narrow ruling possible: Jones could simply issue a more narrow order that would either allow Dover to continue reading a statement about intelligent design or force it to remove the statement from the curriculum.
That decision could also send a message -- either a green or red light -- to several school districts that are contemplating the teaching of intelligent design, said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, who sat through much of the trial proceedings.
Barrage: "If the (parents) lose, expect a barrage of little Dovers all across the country," she said. "If the (parents) win, there still will be efforts to try to get this material in, but they will relabel it just like creationism was relabeled creation science back in the'60s."
She said the creationism movement was renamed intelligent design after court cases that ruled against the teaching of creation science.
"Now they have discovered that the phrase intelligent design is a liability because any judge is going to ask 'Who's the designer?'" she said.
Another name: If the school district loses, proponents of intelligent design will likely rename intelligent design to something that indicates their belief that species were created abruptly, as in the book of Genesis.
"'Sudden emergence' doesn't have an agent," she said. "I think that's next. They probably can't use 'abrupt appearance' because that's too tied to creation science, but they'll come up with some other (invented name)."
Moments after testimony was completed Friday, Thomas More Law Center president and chief counsel Richard Thompson said that regardless of the judge's findings, he is confident the intelligent design movement will prosper from Dover's case.
"This has been a watershed moment in science," he said. "We had two scientists subject to cross examination who proved that the theory of intelligent design is a credible scientific theory that has empirical data supporting it. Their testimony will be used by other scientists and educators for continuing to move ahead with putting intelligent design in the school curriculum."
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5434 or at email@example.com.